Shaving is one of the quickest ways to nix body hair, but it's not quite as effective as waxing. Waxing yanks hair out of the root, so it takes longer to grow back. Chemical waxing products use an ingredient called calcium thioglycolate to strip hair. It can irritate skin, and it doesn't smell very nice, either. Thankfully, you don't need to give up waxing to avoid slathering your body with chemicals. Instead, make your own wax with natural items such as sugar and water. This sugar wax costs pennies per batch, and it's as effective as the store-bought variety. Use a calorie calculator app to learn more about the nutrition breakdown of sugar.
Make the Sugar Wax
Combine 2 cups of sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan. If desired, add a drop or two of tea-tree essential oil for fragrance.
Put the pan on the stove, and set the temperature to medium-high.
Stir the mixture constantly as it melts together and develops a syrup-like consistency. Sugar burns easily, so don't stop stirring for too long.
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Watch for the mixture to turn a golden-brown color. Alternatively, insert the tip of a candy thermometer into the mixture. The wax is ready when it reaches approximately 260 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the wax from heat, and pour it into a glass bowl or jar. Allow the wax to cool for at least two hours before using.
Use the Sugar Wax
Put a small amount of the wax in a heat-safe dish. Warm the wax in the microwave for 10 to 30 seconds. If your wax is still warm, you don't need to do this.
Dip a wooden popsicle stick into the warm wax. Spread the wax over your skin in the direction of hair growth.
Cover the waxed area with a thin cloth strip. Press down on the cloth so that it sticks to your skin.
Grasp the end of the cloth. In one quick motion, pull the cloth up and away from your skin. If done correctly, you should see small hairs sticking to the cloth. If some hair still remains on the waxed area, reapply the wax and repeat the process until it's gone.
Apply wax to another area. Press a clean cloth down over the area, then pull it off quickly. Continue this process until you've waxed off all of the unwanted hair.
To store your wax, put it in an airtight container with a lid and keep it in the refrigerator.
You can keep and reuse the cloths after waxing. Rinse the cloths off under running water, and peel off the remaining wax. Wash cloths with your regular load of laundry.
Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.